ISKANDAR PUTERI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two cryptocurrency mining premises in Johor have been raided for electricity theft totalling an estimated RM2.5 million (S$820,000).
The raids were conducted in a joint operation led by Malaysia's Energy Commission (ST) with national utility company Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Iskandar Puteri City Council and the Inland Revenue Board at the shophouses in Iskandar Puteri.
Johor ST regional director Nazlin Alim Sadikhi said Tenaga incurred an estimated RM80,000 in losses per month due to the electricity theft.
"We found that illegal wiring was installed so that electricity was supplied directly and not through the TNB meter.
"The first premises is believed to have been operating for three years while the second premises for two years," she said after the raid, adding that electricity bills for the two premises were only about RM30 to RM60 a month.
"We found 100 mining machines in the first premises and another 48 in the second premises," said Ms Nazlin.
Iskandar Puteri, formerly known as Nusajaya, is a township located just after the Johor side of the Second Link at Tuas.
She said that the machines operated round-the-clock and involved high energy consumption.
She added that the commission would conduct further investigations under Section 37 of the Electricity Supply Act 1990.
If found guilty, the culprits could be fined a maximum of RM1 million or 10 years' jail or both.
Ms Nazlin reminded landlords who rented out their properties to be alert and report such activities to avoid problems.
Tenaga's South team engineer Mohd Satari Mohamad said some 288 cryptocurrency mining premises had been raided in Johor since 2018, including about 90 premises this year.
"In most cases, the owners of the premises were in cahoots with the cryptocurrency mining operators.
"They have similar operation methods where they have illegal wiring installed to the mining machines to illegally draw electricity supply," he said.